Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Thomas Carlyle'
Start a new discussion about 'Thomas Carlyle'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 writer, essayist, historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and teacher during the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

.
He called economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia
Edinburgh Encyclopedia
The Edinburgh Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia in 18 volumes, printed and published by William Blackwood and edited by David Brewster between 1808 and 1830...

, and became a controversial social commentator.

Coming from a strict Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 family, Carlyle was expected to become a preacher by his parents, but while at the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, he lost his Christian faith. Calvinist values, however, remained with him throughout his life. This combination, of a religious temperament with loss of faith in traditional Christianity, made Carlyle's work appealing to many Victorians who were grappling with scientific and political changes that threatened the traditional social order.

Early life and influences


Carlyle was born in Ecclefechan
Ecclefechan
Ecclefechan is a small village in the south of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway.Ecclefechan lay in the early middle ages within the British kingdom of Rheged, and the name is derived from the Brythonic for "small church"...

, Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland. It was one of the nine administrative 'regions' of mainland Scotland created in 1975 by the Local Government etc. Act 1973...

. His parents determinedly afforded him an education at Annan Academy
Annan Academy
Annan Academy is a secondary school in Annan, in Dumfries and Galloway, formerly Dumfriesshire, Scotland. The present school is the result of an amalgamation in 1921 of the original Annan Academy and Greenknowe Public School, although its history goes back to the 17th century.Behind the buildings...

, Annan
Annan, Dumfries and Galloway
The royal burgh of Annan is a well-built town, red sandstone being the material mainly used. Each year in July, Annan celebrates the Royal Charter and the boundaries of the Royal Burgh are confirmed when a mounted cavalcade undertakes the Riding of the Marches. Entertainment includes a...

, where he was bullied and tormented so much that he left after three years. In early life, his family's (and his nation's) strong Calvinist beliefs powerfully influenced the young man.

After attending the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, Carlyle became a mathematics teacher, first in Annan and then in Kirkcaldy
Kirkcaldy
Kirkcaldy is a town and former royal burgh in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. The town lies on a shallow bay on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth; SSE of Glenrothes, ENE of Dunfermline, WSW of Dundee and NNE of Edinburgh...

, where Carlyle became close friends with the mystic Edward Irving
Edward Irving
*For Edward Irving, the Canadian geologist, see Edward A. Irving.Edward Irving was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.-Youth:...

. (Confusingly, there is another Scottish Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (Scottish lawyer)
Thomas Carlyle was born in King's Grange near Dumfries in Scotland.He studied and finished law at University of Edinburgh. In 1824 he was registered as lawyer at the Scottish bar...

, born a few years later and also connected to Irving, through his work with the Catholic Apostolic Church
Catholic Apostolic Church
The Catholic Apostolic Church was a religious movement which originated in England around 1831 and later spread to Germany and the United States. While often referred to as Irvingism, it was neither actually founded nor anticipated by Edward Irving. The Catholic Apostolic Church was organised in...

.)

In 1819–1821, Carlyle returned to the University of Edinburgh, where he suffered an intense crisis of faith and conversion that would provide the material for Sartor Resartus
Sartor Resartus
Thomas Carlyle's major work, Sartor Resartus , first published as a serial in 1833-34, purported to be a commentary on the thought and early life of a German philosopher called Diogenes Teufelsdröckh , author of a tome entitled "Clothes: their Origin and Influence" , but was actually a poioumenon...

("The Tailor Retailored"), which first brought him to the public's notice.

Carlyle developed a painful stomach ailment, possibly gastric ulcers (which pseudo-medicine of the time attributed to this "crisis of faith"), that remained throughout his life and contributed to his reputation as a crotchety, argumentative, and somewhat disagreeable personality.

His prose style, famously cranky and occasionally savage, helped cement a reputation of irascibility.

He began reading deeply in German literature
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

. Carlyle's thinking was heavily influenced by German Idealism
German idealism
German idealism was a philosophical movement that emerged in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It developed out of the work of Immanuel Kant in the 1780s and 1790s, and was closely linked both with romanticism and the revolutionary politics of the Enlightenment...

, in particular the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant...

. He established himself as an expert on German literature in a series of essays for Fraser's Magazine
Fraser's Magazine
Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country was a general and literary journal published in London from 1830 to 1882, which initially took a strong Tory line in politics. It was founded by Hugh Fraser and William Maginn in 1830 and loosely directed by Maginn under the name Oliver Yorke until about 1840...

, and by translating German writers, notably Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 (the novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship is the second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795-96. While his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, featured a hero driven to suicide by despair, the eponymous hero of this novel undergoes a journey of self-realization...

). He also wrote Life of Schiller (1825).

In 1826, Thomas Carlyle married Jane Baillie Welsh
Jane Welsh Carlyle
Jane Welsh Carlyle was the wife of essayist Thomas Carlyle and has been cited as the reason for his fame and fortune. She was most notable as a letter-writer. In 1973, G.B...

, herself a writer, whom he had met in 1821, during his period of German studies.

His home in residence for much of his early life, after 1828, was a farm in Craigenputtock
Craigenputtock
Craigenputtock is the craig/whinstone hill of the puttocks . It is the upland farming estate on the watershed between Dumfries and Galloway, from Dumfries and Castle Douglas...

, a house in Dumfrieshire, Scotland where he wrote many of his works. He often wrote about his life at Craigenputtock, "It is certain that for living and thinking in I have never since found in the world a place so favourable.... How blessed, might poor mortals be in the straitest circumstances if their wisdom and fidelity to heaven and to one another were adequately great!".

At the Craigenputtock farm, Carlyle also wrote some of his most distinguished essays, and he began a lifelong friendship with the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

. In 1834, Carlyle moved to the Chelsea, London
Chelsea, London
Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

 section of London, where he was then known as the "Sage of Chelsea" and became a member of a literary circle which included the essayists Leigh Hunt and John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

.

In London, Carlyle wrote The French Revolution: A History (3 volumes, 1837), as a historical study concerning oppression of the poor, which was immediately successful. That was the start of many other writings in London.

Early writings


By 1821, Carlyle had abandoned the clergy as a career and focused on making a life as a writer. His first attempt at fiction was "Cruthers and Jonson", one of several abortive attempts at writing a novel. Following his work on a translation of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, he came to distrust the form of the realistic novel and so worked on developing a new form of fiction. In addition to his essays on German literature, he branched out into wider ranging commentary on modern culture in his influential essays Signs of the Times and Characteristics.

Sartor Resartus


His first major work, Sartor Resartus
Sartor Resartus
Thomas Carlyle's major work, Sartor Resartus , first published as a serial in 1833-34, purported to be a commentary on the thought and early life of a German philosopher called Diogenes Teufelsdröckh , author of a tome entitled "Clothes: their Origin and Influence" , but was actually a poioumenon...

("The Tailor Retailored") was begun in 1831 at his home (provided for him by his wife Jane Welsh, from her estate), Craigenputtock
Craigenputtock
Craigenputtock is the craig/whinstone hill of the puttocks . It is the upland farming estate on the watershed between Dumfries and Galloway, from Dumfries and Castle Douglas...

, and was intended to be a new kind of book: simultaneously factual and fictional, serious and satirical, speculative and historical. It ironically commented on its own formal structure, while forcing the reader to confront the problem of where 'truth' is to be found. Sartor Resartus was first published periodically in Fraser's Magazine from 1833 to 1834. The text presents itself as an unnamed editor's attempt to introduce the British public to Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, a German philosopher of clothes, who is in fact a fictional creation of Carlyle's. The Editor is struck with admiration, but for the most part is confounded by Teufelsdröckh's outlandish philosophy, of which the Editor translates choice selections. To try to make sense of Teufelsdröckh's philosophy, the Editor tries to piece together a biography, but with limited success. Underneath the German philosopher's seemingly ridiculous statements, there are mordant attacks on Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can...

 and the commercialization of British society. The fragmentary biography of Teufelsdröckh that the Editor recovers from a chaotic mass of documents reveals the philosopher's spiritual journey. He develops a contempt for the corrupt condition of modern life. He contemplates the "Everlasting No" of refusal, comes to the "Centre of Indifference", and eventually embraces the "Everlasting Yea". This voyage from denial to disengagement to volition would later be described as part of the existentialist awakening.

Given the enigmatic nature of Sartor Resartus, it is not surprising that it was first received with little success. Its popularity developed over the next few years, and it was published in book form in Boston 1836, with a preface by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

, influencing the development of New England Transcendentalism. The first English edition followed in 1838.

The French Revolution


In 1834, Carlyle moved to London from Craigenputtock and began to move among celebrated company. Within the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, Carlyle's success was assured by the publication of his three-volume work The French Revolution: A History
The French Revolution: A History
The French Revolution: A History was written by the Scottish essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle. The three-volume work, first published in 1837 , charts the course of the French Revolution from 1789 to the height of the Reign of Terror and culminates in 1795...

in 1837. After the completed manuscript of the first volume was accidentally burned by the philosopher John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

's maid, Carlyle wrote the second and third volumes before rewriting the first from scratch.

The resulting work was filled with a passionate intensity, hitherto unknown in historical writing. In a politically charged Europe, filled with fears and hopes of revolution, Carlyle's account of the motivations and urges that inspired the events in France seemed powerfully relevant. Carlyle's style of writing emphasised this, continually stressing the immediacy of the action – often using the present tense.

For Carlyle, chaotic events demanded what he called 'heroes' to take control over the competing forces erupting within society. While not denying the importance of economic and practical explanations for events, he saw these forces as 'spiritual' – the hopes and aspirations of people that took the form of ideas, and were often ossified into ideologies ("formulas" or "isms", as he called them). In Carlyle's view, only dynamic individuals could master events and direct these spiritual energies effectively: as soon as ideological 'formulas' replaced heroic human action, society became dehumanised.

On a side note, Victorian writer Charles Dickens used Carlyle's work as a primary source for the events of the French Revolution in his novel A Tale of Two Cities.

Heroes and Hero Worship


These ideas were influential on the development of Socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, but—like the opinions of many deep thinkers of the time—are also considered to have influenced the rise of Fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

. Carlyle moved towards his later thinking during the 1840s, leading to a break with many old friends and allies, such as Mill and, to a lesser extent, Emerson. His belief in the importance of heroic leadership found form in his book "On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History", in which he compared a wide range of different types of heroes, including Odin
Odin
Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

, Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, Napoleon, William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

, Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

, John Knox
John Knox
John Knox was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in Scotland. He was educated at the University of St Andrews or possibly the University of Glasgow and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1536...

, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 and the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.
The book was based on a course of lectures he had given. The French Revolution had brought Carlyle fame, but little money. His friends worked to set him on his feet by organizing courses of public lectures for him, drumming up an audience and selling guinea tickets. Between 1837 and 1840, Carlyle delivered four such courses. The final course was on "Heroes." From the notes he had prepared for this course, he wrote out his book, reproducing the curious effects of the spoken discourses.

The Hero as Man of Letters (Quotes):
  • "In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream."

  • "A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things."

  • "All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books."

  • "What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."

  • "The suffering man ought really to consume his own smoke; there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire."

  • "Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity." (Often shortened to "can't stand prosperity" as an unknown quote.)

  • "Not what I have, but what I do, is my kingdom."


Carlyle was one of the very few philosophers who witnessed the industrial revolution but still kept a transcendental
Transcendence (philosophy)
In philosophy, the adjective transcendental and the noun transcendence convey the basic ground concept from the word's literal meaning , of climbing or going beyond, albeit with varying connotations in its different historical and cultural stages...

 non-materialistic view of the world. The book included people ranging from the field of Religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 through to literature and politics. He included people as coordinates and accorded Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 a special place in the book under the chapter title "Hero as a Prophet". In his work, Carlyle declared his admiration with a passionate championship of Muhammad as a Hegelian agent of reform, insisting on his sincerity and commenting 'how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.' For Carlyle, the hero was somewhat similar to Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's "Magnanimous" man — a person who flourished in the fullest sense. However, for Carlyle, unlike Aristotle, the world was filled with contradictions with which the hero had to deal. All heroes will be flawed. Their heroism lay in their creative energy in the face of these difficulties, not in their moral perfection. To sneer at such a person for their failings is the philosophy of those who seek comfort in the conventional. Carlyle called this 'valetism', from the expression 'no man is a hero to his valet
Valet
Valet and varlet are terms for male servants who serve as personal attendants to their employer.- Word origins :In the Middle Ages, the valet de chambre to a ruler was a prestigious appointment for young men...

.

All these books were influential in their day, especially on writers such as Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 and John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

. However, after the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

 and political agitations in the United Kingdom, Carlyle published a collection of essays entitled "Latter-Day Pamphlets
Latter-Day Pamphlets
Latter-Day Pamphlets was a series of "pamphlets" published by Thomas Carlyle in 1850, in vehement denunciation of what he believed to be the political, social, and religious imbecilities and injustices of the period...

" (1850) in which he attacked democracy as an absurd social ideal, while equally condemning hereditary aristocratic leadership. Two of these essays, No. I: "The Present Times" and No. II: "Model Prisons" were reviewed by Karl Marx and Fredereick Engels in April 1850. Carlyle criticized hereditary aristocratic leadership as "deadening," however, he criticized democracy as nonsensical: as though truth could be discovered by totting up votes. Government should come from those most able. But how we were to recognise the ablest, and to follow their lead, was something Carlyle could not clearly say. Marx and Engels agreed with Carlyle as far as his criticism of the hereditary aristocracy. However they criticized Carlyle's plan to use democracy to find the "Noblest" and the other "Nobles" that are to form the government by the "ablest" persons.

In later writings, Carlyle sought to examine instances of heroic leadership in history. The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (1845) presented a positive image of Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

: someone who attempted to weld order from the conflicting forces of reform in his own day. Carlyle sought to make Cromwell's words live in their own terms by quoting him directly, and then commenting on the significance of these words in the troubled context of the time. Again this was intended to make the 'past' 'present' to his readers.

The Everlasting Yea and No


The Everlasting Yea is Carlyle's name for the spirit of faith in God in an express attitude of clear, resolute, steady, and uncompromising antagonism to the Everlasting No, and the principle that there is no such thing as faith in God except in such antagonism against the spirit opposed to God.

The Everlasting No is Carlyle's name for the spirit of unbelief in God, especially as it manifested itself in his own, or rather Teufelsdröckh's, warfare against it; the spirit, which, as embodied in the Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore...

 of Goethe, is for ever denying,—der stets verneint—the reality of the divine in the thoughts, the character, and the life of humanity, and has a malicious pleasure in scoffing at everything high and noble as hollow and void.

In Sartor Resartus, the narrator moves from the "Everlasting No" to the "Everlasting Yea," but only through "The Center of Indifference," which is a position not merely of agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, but also of detachment. Only after reducing desires and certainty and aiming at a Buddha-like "indifference" can the narrator move toward an affirmation. In some ways, this is similar to the contemporary philosopher Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

's "leap of faith
Leap of faith
A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence...

" in Concluding Unscientific Postscript.

In regards to the abovementioned "antagonism," one might note that William Blake
William Blake
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

 famously wrote that "without contraries is no progression," and Carlyle's progress from the everlasting nay to the everlasting yea was not to be found in the "Centre of Indifference" (as he called it) but in Natural Supernaturalism
Natural Supernaturalism
Natural Supernaturalism is the name of a chapter in Thomas Carlyle's novel Sartor Resartus, which, says Dr. Stirling, "contains the very first word of a higher philosophy as yet spoken in Great Britain, the very first English word towards the restoration and rehabilitation of the dethroned Upper...

, a Transcendental
Transcendence (philosophy)
In philosophy, the adjective transcendental and the noun transcendence convey the basic ground concept from the word's literal meaning , of climbing or going beyond, albeit with varying connotations in its different historical and cultural stages...

 philosophy of the divine within the everyday.

Worship of Silence and Sorrow


Based on Goethe's having described Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 as the "Worship of Sorrow", and "our highest religion, for the Son of Man", Carlyle adds, interpreting this, "there is no noble crown, well worn or even ill worn, but is a crown of thorns".

The "Worship of Silence" is Carlyle's name for the sacred respect for restraint in speech till "thought has silently matured itself, …to hold one's tongue till some meaning lie behind to set it wagging," a doctrine which many misunderstand, almost wilfully, it would seem; silence being to him the very womb out of which all great things are born.

Frederick the Great



His last major work was the epic life of Frederick the Great (1858–1865). In this Carlyle tried to show how a heroic leader can forge a state, and help create a new moral culture for a nation. For Carlyle, Frederick epitomized the transition from the liberal Enlightenment ideals of the eighteenth century to a new modern culture of spiritual dynamism: embodied by Germany, its thought and its polity. The book is most famous for its vivid, arguably very biased, portrayal of Frederick's battles, in which Carlyle communicated his vision of almost overwhelming chaos mastered by leadership of genius.

Carlyle called the work his “Thirteen Years War” with Frederick. In 1852, he made his first trip to Germany to gather material, visiting the scenes of Frederick's battles and noting their topography. He made another trip to Germany to study battlefields in 1858. The work comprised six volumes; the first two volumes appeared in 1858, the third in 1862, the fourth in 1864 and the last two in 1865. Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 considered it “Infinitely the wittiest book that was ever written.” Lowell
James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

 pointed out some faults, but wrote: “The figures of most historians seem like dolls stuffed with bran, whose whole substance runs out through any hole that criticism may tear in them; but Carlyle's are so real in comparison, that, if you prick them, they bleed.” The work was studied as a textbook in the military academies of Germany.

The effort involved in the writing of the book took its toll on Carlyle, who became increasingly depressed, and subject to various probably psychosomatic ailments. Its mixed reception also contributed to Carlyle's decreased literary output.

Later work


Later writings were generally short essays, often indicating the hardening of Carlyle's political positions. His notoriously racist essay "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" suggested that slavery should never have been abolished, or else replaced with serfdom
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

. It had kept order, he argued, and forced work from people who would otherwise have been lazy and feckless. This – and Carlyle's support for the repressive measures of Governor Edward Eyre in Jamaica – further alienated him from his old liberal allies. Eyre had been accused of brutal lynchings while suppressing a rebellion. Carlyle set up a committee to defend Eyre, while Mill organised for his prosecution.

Private life


Carlyle had a number of would-be romances before he married Jane Welsh
Jane Welsh Carlyle
Jane Welsh Carlyle was the wife of essayist Thomas Carlyle and has been cited as the reason for his fame and fortune. She was most notable as a letter-writer. In 1973, G.B...

, important as a literary figure in her own right. The most notable were with Margaret Gordon, a pupil of his friend Edward Irving
Edward Irving
*For Edward Irving, the Canadian geologist, see Edward A. Irving.Edward Irving was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.-Youth:...

. Even after he met Jane, he became enamoured of Kitty Kirkpatrick
Kitty Kirkpatrick
Katherine Aurora "Kitty" Kirkpatrick was born in India to James Achilles Kirkpatrick, British Resident in Hyderabad , and Khair-un-Nissa, a Hyderabadi noblewoman, but lived most of her life in England...

, the daughter of a British officer and an Indian princess. William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals
White Mughals
White Mughals is a 2002 history book by William Dalrymple.Its Dalrymple's fifth major book.-Summary:The book is a work of social history about the warm relations that existed between the British and some Indians in the 18th and early 19th century, when one in three British men in India was married...

, suggests that feelings were mutual, but social circumstances made the marriage impossible, as Carlyle was then poor. Both Margaret and Kitty have been suggested as the original of "Blumine", Teufelsdröch's beloved, in Sartor Resartus.

Marriage


Carlyle married Jane Welsh in 1826, making the marriage one of the most famous, well documented, and unhappy of literary unions. Over 9000 letters between Carlyle and his wife have been published showing the couple had an affection for one another marred by frequent and angry quarrels.
He had been introduced to Welsh by his friend and her tutor Edward Irving
Edward Irving
*For Edward Irving, the Canadian geologist, see Edward A. Irving.Edward Irving was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.-Youth:...

, with whom she came to have a mutual romantic (although not sexually intimate) attraction.

Carlyle became increasingly alienated from his wife. Although she had been an invalid for some time, her death (1866) came unexpectedly and plunged him into despair, during which he wrote his highly self-critical "Reminiscences of Jane Welsh Carlyle", published posthumously.

Later life


After Jane Carlyle's death in the year 1866, Thomas Carlyle partly retired from active society. He was appointed rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 of the University of Edinburgh. The Early Kings of Norway: Also an Essay on the Portraits of John Knox appeared in 1875. His last years were spent at 24 Cheyne Row (then numbered 5), Chelsea, London SW3 (which is now a National Trust property commemorating his life and works) but he always wished to return to Craigenputtock.

Death



Upon Carlyle's death on 5 February 1881 in London, it was made possible for his remains to be interred in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, but his wish to be buried beside his parents in Ecclefechan
Ecclefechan
Ecclefechan is a small village in the south of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway.Ecclefechan lay in the early middle ages within the British kingdom of Rheged, and the name is derived from the Brythonic for "small church"...

 was respected.

Biography


Carlyle would have preferred that no biography of him were written, but when he heard that his wishes would not be respected and that several people were only waiting for him to die before they published, he relented and began to supply his friend James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude , 23 April 1818–20 October 1894, was an English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine. From his upbringing amidst the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement, Froude intended to become a clergyman, but doubts about the doctrines of the Anglican church,...

 with many of his and his wife's papers. Carlyle's essay about his wife, Reminiscences of Jane Welsh Carlyle, was published after his death by Froude, who also published the Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle annotated by Carlyle himself. Froude's Life of Carlyle was published over 1882-84. The frankness of this book was unheard of by the usually respectful standards of 19th-century biographies of the period. Froude's work was attacked by Carlyle's family, especially his nephew, Alexander Carlyle and his niece, Margaret Aitken Carlyle. However, the biography in question was consistent with Carlyle's own conviction that the flaws of heroes should be openly discussed, without diminishing their achievements. Froude, who had been designated by Carlyle himself as his biographer-to-be, was acutely aware of this belief. Froude's defence of his decision, My Relations With Carlyle was published posthumously in 1903, including a reprint of Carlyle's 1873 will, in which Carlyle equivocated: "Express biography of me I had really rather that there should be none." Nevertheless, Carlyle in the will simultaneously and completely deferred to Froude's judgement on the matter, whose "decision is to be taken as mine."

Influence


Thomas Carlyle is notable both for his continuation of older traditions of the Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 satirists of the 18th century in England and for forging a new tradition of Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 criticism of progress known as sage writing
Sage writing
Sage writing is term used to describe a genre of creative nonfiction popular in the Victorian era. The concept originates with John Holloway's 1953 book The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument....

. Sartor Resartus can be seen both as an extension of the chaotic, sceptical satires of Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 and Laurence Sterne
Laurence Sterne
Laurence Sterne was an Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; but he also published many sermons, wrote memoirs, and was involved in local politics...

 and as an enunciation of a new point of view on values. Finding the world hollow, Carlyle's misanthropist professor-narrator discovers a need for revolution of the spirit. In one sense, this resolution is in keeping with the Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 era's belief in revolution, individualism, and passion, but in another sense it is a nihilistic and private solution to the problems of modern life that makes no gesture of outreach to a wider community.

Later British critics and sage writers
Sage writing
Sage writing is term used to describe a genre of creative nonfiction popular in the Victorian era. The concept originates with John Holloway's 1953 book The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument....

, such as Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator...

, would similarly denounce the mob and the naïve claims of progress, and others, such as John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

, would reject the era's incessant move toward industrial production. However, few would follow Carlyle into a narrow and solitary resolution, and even those who would come to praise heroes would not be as remorseless for the weak.

Carlyle is also important for helping to introduce German Romantic literature to Britain. Although Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

 had also been a proponent of Schiller, Carlyle's efforts on behalf of Schiller and Goethe would bear fruit.

Carlyle also made a favourable impression on some slaveholders in the U.S. South. His conservatism and criticisms of capitalism were enthusiastically repeated by those anxious to defend slavery as an alternative to capitalism, such as George Fitzhugh
George Fitzhugh
George Fitzhugh was an American social theorist who published racial and slavery-based sociological theories in the antebellum era. He argued that "the negro is but a grown up child" who needs the economic and social protections of slavery...

.

The reputation of Carlyle's early work remained high during the 19th century, but declined in the 20th century. George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 called him, "a master of belittlement. Even at his emptiest sneer (as when he said that Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

 thought he was a big man because he lived in a big country) the victim does seem to shrink a little. That [-] is the power of the orator, the man of phrases and adjectives, turned to a base use." His reputation in Germany was always high, because of his promotion of German thought and his biography of Frederick the Great. Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

, whose ideas are comparable to Carlyle's in some respects, was dismissive of his moralism, calling him an "insipid muddlehead" in Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886.It takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but approached from a more critical, polemical direction....

and regarded him as a thinker who failed to free himself from the very petty-mindedness he professed to condemn. Carlyle's distaste for democracy and his belief in charismatic leadership was unsurprisingly appealing to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, who was reading Carlyle's biography of Frederick during his last days in 1945.

This association with fascism did Carlyle's reputation no good in the post-war years, but "Sartor Resartus" has recently been recognised once more as a unique masterpiece, anticipating many major philosophical and cultural developments, from Existentialism to Postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

. It has also been argued that his critique of ideological formulas in "The French Revolution" provides a good account of the ways in which revolutionary cultures turn into repressive dogmatisms.

Essentially a Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, Carlyle attempted to reconcile Romantic affirmations of feeling and freedom with respect for historical and political fact. Many believe that he was always more attracted to the idea of heroic struggle itself, than to any specific goal for which the struggle was being made. However, Carlyle’s belief in the continued use to humanity of the Hero, or Great Man
Great man theory
The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...

, is stated succinctly at the end of his admirably positive aforementioned essay on Mohammed, in 1841’s ‘On Heroes, Hero Worship & the Heroic in History’, in which he concludes that: “the Great Man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame.”

Works

  • (1829) Signs of the Times The Victorian Web
  • (1831) Sartor Resartus
    Sartor Resartus
    Thomas Carlyle's major work, Sartor Resartus , first published as a serial in 1833-34, purported to be a commentary on the thought and early life of a German philosopher called Diogenes Teufelsdröckh , author of a tome entitled "Clothes: their Origin and Influence" , but was actually a poioumenon...

    Project Gutenberg
  • (1837) The French Revolution: A History
    The French Revolution: A History
    The French Revolution: A History was written by the Scottish essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle. The three-volume work, first published in 1837 , charts the course of the French Revolution from 1789 to the height of the Reign of Terror and culminates in 1795...

    Project Gutenberg
  • (1840) Chartism
    Chartism
    Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labour movement in the world...

    Google Books
  • (1841) On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History Project Gutenberg
  • (1843) Past and Present
    Past and Present (book)
    Past and Present is a book by Thomas Carlyle published in April 1843 in England and in May in the United States. It combines medieval history with criticism of 19th century British society. It was written in seven weeks, as a respite from the harassing labor of writing Cromwell...

    Project Gutenberg
  • (1845) Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches, with elucidations, ed. Thomas Carlyle, 3 vol. (1845, often reprinted). online version another online version
    • Morrill, John
      John Morrill (historian)
      John Morrill FBA is a British historian. He specialises in the political, religious, social and cultural histories of early-modern Britain....

      . "Textualizing and Contextualizing Cromwell." Historical Journal 1990 33(3): 629-639. ISSN 0018-246X Fulltext online at Jstor. Examines the Abbott and Carlyle edit
  • (1849) "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question", Fraser's Magazine
    Fraser's Magazine
    Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country was a general and literary journal published in London from 1830 to 1882, which initially took a strong Tory line in politics. It was founded by Hugh Fraser and William Maginn in 1830 and loosely directed by Maginn under the name Oliver Yorke until about 1840...

    (anonymous), webpage: Online text
  • (1849) Reminiscences of my Irish Journey in 1849 Online text
  • (1850) Latter-Day Pamphlets
    Latter-Day Pamphlets
    Latter-Day Pamphlets was a series of "pamphlets" published by Thomas Carlyle in 1850, in vehement denunciation of what he believed to be the political, social, and religious imbecilities and injustices of the period...

    Project Gutenberg
  • (1851) The Life Of John Sterling
    The Life of John Sterling
    The Life of John Sterling was a biography of the Scottish author John Sterling , written by his friend, the Scottish essayist and historian, Thomas Carlyle. It was first published in 1851....

    Project Gutenberg
  • (1858) History of Friedrich II of Prussia
    History of Friedrich II of Prussia
    History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great was a biography of Friedrich II of Prussia written by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle...

    Index to Project Gutenberg texts
  • (1867) Shooting Niagara: and After Online Text
  • (1875) The Early kings of Norway

Definitions


Carlyle had quite a few unusual definitions at hand, which were collected by the Nuttall Encyclopedia. Some include:

Centre of Immensities:an expression of Carlyle's to signify that wherever any one is, he is in touch with the whole universe of being, and is, if he knew it, as near the heart of it there as anywhere else he can be.
Eleutheromania: A mania or frantic zeal for freedom.
Gigman:Carlyle's name for a man who prides himself on, and pays all respect to, respectability. It is derived from a definition once given in a court of justice by a witness who, having described a person as respectable, was asked by the judge in the case what he meant by the word; "one that keeps a gig
Gig (carriage)
A gig, also called chair or chaise, is a light, two-wheeled sprung cart pulled by one horse.-Description:Gigs travelling at night would normally carry two oil lamps with thick glass, known as gig-lamps. Gig carts are constructed with the driver's seat sitting higher than the level of the shafts. ...

," was the answer. Carlyle also refers to "gigmanity" at large.
Hallowed Fire:an expression of Carlyle's in definition of Christianity "at its rise and spread" as sacred, and kindling what was sacred and divine in man's soul, and burning up all that was not.
Mights And Rights:the Carlyle doctrine that Rights are nothing till they have realised and established themselves as Mights; they are rights first only then.
Pig-Philosophy:the name given by Carlyle in his Latter-Day Pamphlets
Latter-Day Pamphlets
Latter-Day Pamphlets was a series of "pamphlets" published by Thomas Carlyle in 1850, in vehement denunciation of what he believed to be the political, social, and religious imbecilities and injustices of the period...

,
in the one on Jesuitism, to the widespread philosophy of the time, which regarded the human being as a mere creature of appetite instead of a creature of God endowed with a soul, as having no nobler idea of well-being than the gratification of desire—that his only Heaven, and the reverse of it his Hell.
Plugston of Undershot:Carlyle's name for a "captain of industry
Captain of industry
"Captain of industry" was a term originally used in the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution describing a business leader whose means of amassing a personal fortune contributes positively to the country in some way....

" or member of the manufacturing class.
Present Time:defined by Carlyle as "the youngest born of Eternity, child and heir of all the past times, with their good and evil, and parent of all the future with new questions and significance," on the right or wrong understanding of which depend the issues of life or death to us all, the sphinx riddle given to all of us to rede as we would live and not die.
Prinzenraub:(the stealing of the princes), name given to an attempt, to satisfy a private grudge of his, on the part of Kunz von Kaufingen to carry off, on the night of 7 July 1455, two Saxon princes from the castle of Altenburg
Altenburg
Altenburg is a town in the German federal state of Thuringia, 45 km south of Leipzig. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district.-Geography:...

, in which he was defeated by apprehension at the hands of a collier named Schmidt, through whom he was handed over to justice and beheaded. See Carlyle's account of this in his "Miscellanies."
Printed Paper:Carlyle's satirical name for the literature of France prior to the Revolution.
Progress of the Species Magazines: Carlyle's name for the literature of the day which does nothing to help the progress in question, but keeps idly boasting of the fact, taking all the credit to itself, like French Poet Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional...

's fly on the axle of the careening chariot soliloquising, "What a dust I raise!"
Sauerteig: (i. e. leaven), an imaginary authority alive to the "celestial infernal" fermentation that goes on in the world, who has an eye specially to the evil elements at work, and to whose opinion Carlyle frequently appeals in his condemnatory verdict on sublunary things.
The Conflux of Eternities:Carlyle's expressive phrase for time, as in every moment of it a centre in which all the forces to and from eternity meet and unite, so that by no past and no future can we be brought nearer to Eternity than where we at any moment of Time are; the Present Time, the youngest born of Eternity, being the child and heir of all the Past times with their good and evil, and the parent of all the Future. By the import of which (see Matt. xvi. 27), it is accordingly the first and most sacred duty of every successive age, and especially the leaders of it, to know and lay to heart as the only link by which Eternity lays hold of it, and it of Eternity.

See also

  • Annales School
    Annales School
    The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

     and New History
    New history
    For New history see:* James Harvey Robinson for "new history" in early 20th century American historiography* Nouvelle histoire for "new history" in late 20th century French historiography* New Mormon history for Mormon history in a historical context...

  • Carlyle's House
    Carlyle's House
    Carlyle's House, in the district of Chelsea, in central London, England, was the home acquired by the historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane Welsh Carlyle, after having lived at Craigenputtock in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. She was a prominent woman of letters, for nearly half a...

     in Chelsea, London
    Chelsea, London
    Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

  • Craigenputtock
    Craigenputtock
    Craigenputtock is the craig/whinstone hill of the puttocks . It is the upland farming estate on the watershed between Dumfries and Galloway, from Dumfries and Castle Douglas...

     in Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a registration county of Scotland. The lieutenancy area of Dumfries has similar boundaries.Until 1975 it was a county. Its county town was Dumfries...

  • Great man theory
    Great man theory
    The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...

  • Max Weber
    Max Weber
    Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

    's charismatic authority
    Charismatic authority
    The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as "resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him." Charismatic authority is one of three forms of authority laid out...

  • Philosophy of history
    Philosophy of history
    The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

  • On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History
    On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History
    -Lecture 1. The Hero as Divinity. Odin. Paganism: Scandinavian Mythology:-Lecture 4: The Hero as Priest. Luther; Reformation: Knox; Puritanism:-Lecture 5. The Hero as Man of Letters. Johnson, Rousseau, Burns:...

  • Übermensch
    Übermensch
    The Übermensch is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche posited the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra ....

  • Whig history
    Whig history
    Whig history is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government,...

  • Famous Scots Series
  • Historiography of the French Revolution

External links


(plain text and HTML)